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Can I afford to live on 1 salary?

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by nikki2482, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. nikki2482

    nikki2482 New commenter

    I'm thinking of applying in the next recruitment window for international schools. I am desperate to do this but my main issue is that I will have a non working husband and 2 school age children to support. Is this even possible and which countries are best to look at? Vietnam seems a good shout. Any help and advice would be appreciated.
  2. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    There are many countries where this is possible. In fact, in theory it's possible everywhere given that every country has families doing it.
    It's not about can you, but about what you see as the minimum standard of living. Obviously we all want more than the minimum, but it helps to know your limits. If you can explain it to us, we can help more.
    Do you need a new car, maid, meals out three times a week, mortgage payments and retirement accounts back home? Or would it be enough to eat home cooked meals and walk to work? How many trips home and elsewhere each year? Simple apartment or garden villa?
    T0nyGT likes this.
  3. truth_seeker12

    truth_seeker12 Occasional commenter

    Most of Southern Europe is out of the question. As the above post, depends on many factors
  4. nikki2482

    nikki2482 New commenter

    Thank you for responding. We would be looking for a garden property ideally or somewhere more on the outskirts so it was a bit quieter. We have no interest in driving or maid or anything like that but we do like to eat out. We would have minimal commitments of £250 back home. We would be looking at weekend trips to give them as many experiences as possible.
  5. nikki2482

    nikki2482 New commenter

    We don't live a lavish lifestyle now. We earn about £3000 between us and spend about £2500. We don't take the boys away alot and we just want the opportunity to give them experiences whilst they are still little. We are after a more relaxed lifestyle in the sun. My husband will be able to earn some money online but minimal and i can't rely on it. What I'm worried about is that I've seen a few families think they will be able to save loads but the reality is very different. This is a huge commitment for us so I need to really understand the reality.
  6. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Established commenter

    this might not be as easy as you think. some schools are in very built up cities and travelling in some of these cities could take hours, not the minutes you are used to in the UK. also, some schools may already have a "bank" of properties that it leases and put you in there. some schools maybe in areas that dont have this type of accommodation. things you have to think about.

    my sister lived in a very large apartment on the 4th floor in Peru with a family of 5. it was quite difficult, but thats all that was available. even with one teacher working her family was saving quite a bit. a LOT more than you are saving now. this was after they left Spain though !!!!
  7. Charlyrose

    Charlyrose New commenter

    We will be going to Malaysia with a 2 year old in August. We have worked out that we can save, eat out and have trips away. Only one wage. We shall see what happens in reality but for us seeing a new country and the experience is much better than doing the same thing year on year, saving nothing in bad weather.
  8. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

    I'm in Shanghai and the sole earner. We live very comfortably here and travel a lot. The school provided us with a large house and garden in the outskirts, 5 minutes walk from school. I know of other international schools here who provide similar packages. So, China might be a way to go for you. Cost of living low if you are happy with local food, you can easily go out for dinner and pay a fraction of what you'd pay back home. If you want to live like a Westerner on the other hand, then China can get very expensive.
  9. pinot

    pinot New commenter

    Living and working in Vietnam. We have lots of families with one working parent and two kids. The families get a housing allowance and can afford a nice villa or 3 bed apartment with pool and gym. I live five minutes, two dollars on a taxi away from the school but many live over the road and walk there. Holidaying in Vietnam is obscenely cheap, a beautiful 4 or 5 star four night break costs around $500, including travel. Send me a PM for further conversations. What is your subject?
    jdgoliath9 likes this.
  10. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Would go for Vietnam over China for a family and only one earner, unless your family are adventurous enough to forego the 'westernised' attractions, which come at a vastly inflated price in China for families in particular (as soon as it involves children in China the prices become silly) As your children get older, they want to do what all their friends do, whose families are on some pretty large expat packages and that can start to eat away at the income. Main cities in China are also very polluted and not sure I would expose my young child to those levels.

    But as @mermy said, if you are prepared to forego some things, you can live well, travel to amazing places and there are some fantastic opportunities for both you and the children.
  11. jdgoliath9

    jdgoliath9 New commenter

    Hello Pinot,

    I am really interested in more information about vietnam and was wondering if you would be willing to answer some questions?

    If you are happy to chat would you be able to start a 'conversation' with me? (I dont get to start them myself as i havnt commented enough in the community). Please let me know,

    Thank you!
  12. geckopoo

    geckopoo New commenter

    pm sent to OP!
    jdgoliath9 likes this.
  13. 576

    576 Established commenter

    You also need to be very honest about how happy your husband will be in a strange country without work.
    For some it works for others it ruins the whole experience that one person is bored.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  14. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Some people who are new to this forum send one of those "Conversation" things to a smelly, swamp-dwelling beast that lumbers around this TES forum, from time to time.
    jdgoliath9 likes this.
  15. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Rather a lot of young (and maybe some who are not so young) teachers seem to be excited about Vietnam. If it really is so wonderful, then of course people who are currently working there will want to stay for a long time, so there will not be many teaching posts available. Then there will be intense competition for those few vacancies that do appear.
    charb74 likes this.
  16. charb74

    charb74 New commenter

    I was the only one working in Abu Dhabi. We were able to live a comfy life (eating out frequently, kids going to tennis classes, going to expensive venues like aquaparks, pinguin petting, space flight, etc. three-four times a year, flying back home twice a year) and save as well. My wife was working part-time from time to time, but what she earned was just extra. I hope this helps.
  17. pinot

    pinot New commenter

    *Some schools in Vietnam, there are some really awful ones. One has to choose carefully.
  18. tiler

    tiler New commenter

    We're a single-income family of 5 in a modern, clean, green and peaceful Chinese city. The city is very popular with families. We holiday overseas 3-4 times a year and save between £20-25k pa., depending on the amount of extracurricular work taken on.

    As a teacher new to the school you would save less. However, if you came in with 8 years experience, you you'd be far enough up the pay scale to still save £15k in your first year.
  19. jdgoliath9

    jdgoliath9 New commenter

    Do you work in Vietnam or similar my water dwelling friend?
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    As regular readers of the pachyderm's online ramblings will know well, at the moment Mrs H and I are doing our fifth year in Shenzhen. It is quite a biggish modern city, just round the corner from Hong Kong. Mrs Hippo is quite excited by her "alternative career" as an international model, as she has had quite a few shoots in HK, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. As for her husband, I have to say that I like Shenzhen. The Chinese people are a big improvement on the Qataris, for a start, and SZ is a lot nicer than Doha, in lots of ways. We have a pleasant two-bedroomed apartment in Futian, in the centre of Shenzhen, right next to the huge and beautiful Lianhuacun Park and about 25 minutes' walk from my school. Teaching Chinese children is heaven because they are so sweet, polite and hard-working. Well, most of the time. Anyway, here is Mrs Hippopotamus about to tuck in to some local street nosh.


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